Geist Story

My moratorium on “news” came to an end a few weeks ago with the December 2 issue of the Sunday New York Times. But when I pledged to unplug from all sources of cognitive dissonance, I must have known that my plan (which by my reckoning spanned a little under five months) would be more diet …

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Prognostications

How the free speech wars will end: Scenario 1: The two sides talk themselves out. Alt-right groups will continue to invite controversial speakers to campus, alt-left protests will ensue, and the whole thing will get covered by the Wall Street Journal. Finally, the diminishing marginal utility of both forms of expression will become apparent: white …

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Midnight Sun

Because my alumni newsletters have long gone straight into the recycle bin, I had not known that Emory eighty-sixed its only John Portman, the Dobbs University Center, last summer. Emory is not known for its sentimentality, but I doubt that anyone felt this particular demolition as a loss. Even so, finding myself on the campus …

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The Origin of Species

Lessons learned or relearned in the six months since I last wrote an entry for this blog: 1.) Some of us work on who we are, while neglecting what we are. Others work on what they are, while neglecting who they are. As a “Who” person, I can say that we are always evolving, without …

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Confessions

Doctors smoke. Attorneys go to jail. Clergy lose their faith. But educators who did badly in school aren’t something you read much about. There are obvious reasons for this, beginning with the fact that most jobs in education require a graduate degree of some kind, and a spotty academic record can be a serious impediment …

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Acquisitions

I don’t know if people still give each other books for Christmas. (I know they give Kindles, but that’s like giving someone a juicer.) Since I give myself books all year without also giving myself a time frame in which to get to them, by year’s end I tend to accept books as gifts with …

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At ASHE

I could see a lot of things from my room on the fifteenth floor of the Houston Marriott if I stared long enough. A church steeple. The backside of Minute Maid Park. The sluggish pulse of traffic on I-69. A city block-sized parking lot whose tidal patterns – early birds, cockeyed pay station queues, indecipherable …

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